Re: Athletics

Letter | Other thoughts on college athletic challenges

April 12, 2014 

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Re: editorial, “Tie coaches' pay to student-athlete academic performance:

I read with considerable interest the above referenced editorial and, standing alone, do not think the proposal is the solution to the situation articulated by its author.

Suppose hypothetically that for five consecutive years, after implementing the academic performance condition into all coaching contracts, the football team at Alabama averaged 90 percent graduation of its scholarship players but only won 17 games, tied 1 game and lost all the rest with an average home attendance of 45 percent of capacity.

Your guess is as good as mine as to what would happen to the head coach and athletic director.

Needless to say, it is apparent that additional factors would have to be considered and discussed in order to attempt to achieve the result sought, e.g.,

1. Reinstate the rule that freshmen are ineligible for varsity games;

2. Require all scholarship players to attend summer classes;

3. Discontinue Spring practice;

4. Effect a cooperating change to the “leave school early” to enter the NFL draft;

5. Establish a five-year graduation plan during which no scholarship player can have it taken away for playing eligibility reasons;

6. A salary cap for head coaches;

7. No recruitment contact or offers of scholarship until the student athlete is in 11th grade of high school.

If players in private and public universities/colleges are ultimately by law entitled to form and join a union, the rebalancing between athletics and academics will become even more difficult to obtain.

The writer lives in Conway.

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